Art Kehoe -

When the Rebel offensive line plays well, OL Coach Art Kehoe will be the first to praise them. When they don't - like against Arkansas last Saturday - he's not afraid to be candid about that either.

"We didn't protect the quarterback and we didn't protect the ball. Arkansas did a good job against our protections and got some guys free with some add-ons," Artk said. "It was a combination of philosophical problems. We were sliding protections one way and they were overloading the other way.

"In short, we didn't do a good job and we have a lot of things to get corrected before the Auburn game. They didn't really give us anything we hadn't worked on, but we didn't handle it very well at all."

Now, Kehoe said, there's nothing to do but put that game behind them and work toward Auburn, another big challenge for the Rebels, the offense and the OL.

"Auburn is a lot younger than they were last year, but they are a typical Auburn defense. They are real physical, they play the run well and they are second in the SEC in overall defense," he stated. "They have guys like Quentin Groves, who is a torpedo off the ball and is very disruptive, and Antonio Coleman and Tray Blackmon, two excellent defenders. We will definitely have to shore up our pass pro before we face those guys.

"We were pretty solid in our preparations against Arkansas, but didn't execute some things we should have. We will have to do better, much better, against Auburn. Nobody garded out, including me, anything but a failure, so we have our work cut out for us, but I think we will be up to the challenge."

Kehoe said the Tigers will not present a major mental challenge in terms of sophisticated schemes and the like, but matching their intensity is the key.

"They are not real fancy. They are big on playing the game hard. Their blitz package isn't real involved. They don't have a multitude of fronts and coverages. They are just a team that basically lines up and says 'here we are - stop us if you can.' They will hurt you with the blitz when they do it, but that's not really their thing. Their thing is attacking the blockers, getting off the blocks, swarming and getting two or three guys to the ball.

"They remind me of when I was at Miami. Folks used to say the Miami defense looked like it had a lot of holes until you actually play them. There's always more than one hat at the ball, and they are playing two freshmen, four sophomores and two juniors. They are young and only allowing 300 yards a game. What they do is play hard and create turnovers and big plays for them."

Kehoe said the Rebels have improved in some areas, but they took a step back against the Hogs which they will have to recoup before Saturday.

"We have to shore up the protections we missed on this past week and we had been protecting pretty good until that game," he evaluated. "We have not been consistent enough in the run game. We usually start off pretty good and then tail off. We have not been real good in the fourth quarter and in finishing drives and on third down.

"Doing better in those areas will get us over the hump. It was a humiliating game Saturday and we don't intend to repeat that again. We need to play our butts off and be more consistent in everything we do. I know we can do it - I've seen it. It's just a matter of putting it all together.

"We are going to coach out butts off, practice hard and play our tails off. We are frustrated now, but we are going to get those things done."

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